The Discussion Meet is a free-wheeling discussion of ag topics, as if you are sitting around the table discussing a problem. The Discussion Meet helps you build communication skills, develop an understanding of important ag issues and explore how to pool knowledge to solve problems. Successful participants are productive thinkers rather than emotional persuaders, help the group create ways to implement the solutions discussed, and highlight Farm Bureau’s involvement in those actions.
Two of the following questions will be selected for the preliminary rounds of the 2022 Discussion Meet:
1. Animal agriculture is an important part of Iowa’s economy and a vital protein source. The pandemic amplified the complexity and challenges of our current food supply chain and raised new questions and concerns with consumers. What role can farmers play to help restore consumers’ confidence in the food supply system, provide more choices to consumers and protect farmers’ livelihoods?
2. With the current low profit margins in traditional farming operations and limited access of land, many young farmers are looking to diversify with other crops, livestock markets, and value-added opportunities. What role can Farm Bureau play in helping young farmers accomplish their goal of generating additional income on the farming operation through niche markets and value-added agricultural?
3. Farm life can be demanding and stressful, especially for young farmers. The ongoing challenges with the pandemic, trade wars, natural disasters and volatile commodity prices can impact a farmer’s mental health. What can be done to help young farmers experiencing mental health challenges?
Participants compete in two rounds, each addressing one of these questions. Three to six young farmers participate in each room. The format is a 30 second opening statement, 25 minutes of group discussion, and a 60 second closing statement.
Contestants are judged on cooperative attitude, problem solving, delivery, problem analysis and opening and closing statements. Based on cumulative ranking, the top eight finalists (and two alternates) will be determined.
Finalists receive coaching throughout the year to prepare for the final rounds, held during the Iowa Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in December 2022. Questions for the final rounds will be selected from the five questions provided by AFBF.
Prizes are awarded to four state finalists. The winner receives a $2,500 Cat® Dealer gift certificate, $1,500 from GROWMARK, and will advance to the AFBF Discussion Meet in January 2023 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
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